In a move to enhance Ukraine’s defense capabilities, the United States has supplied the country with a significant amount of ammunition confiscated from Iran. The transfer of over a million rounds of ammunition took place following a successful civil forfeiture case pursued by the US justice department. The ammunition, which was seized in the Gulf, had been intended for Yemeni Houthi forces in violation of a UN arms embargo.
This delivery of ammunition from the seized cache serves as a testament to the commitment of the US government to support Ukraine’s fight against authoritarian regimes. US Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized that the justice department will continue to use every legal means available to aid Ukraine in its pursuit of freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.
The confiscated ammunition includes 7.62mm rounds, which were seized from a stateless vessel named Marwan1 by naval vessels of US Central Command. Additionally, thousands of proximity fuses for rocket-propelled grenades were part of the seized cargo. The US determined that the ammunition was supplied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, with the intention of aiding their Houthi allies in the ongoing Yemeni civil war. After being warehoused in the Middle East, the US gained ownership of the ammunition through a forfeiture claim in July.
This transfer of seized Iranian ammunition to Ukraine comes at a crucial time when concerns are growing among Western defense ministries about the ability to provide necessary support to Kyiv in its battle against Russia’s relentless aggression. Adm Rob Bauer, the Dutch chair of the Nato military committee, recently expressed worries about the diminishing resources available for Ukraine’s defense efforts.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why was the ammunition seized from Iran?
The ammunition was seized as it was being smuggled to Yemeni Houthi forces in violation of a UN arms embargo. The US justice department pursued a civil forfeiture case to gain ownership of the seized ammunition.
2. How will the seized ammunition benefit Ukraine?
The ammunition will bolster Ukraine’s defense capabilities, providing the country with a much-needed supply of munitions to support its ongoing efforts against external threats.
3. Who supplied the ammunition seized from Iran?
The seized ammunition was determined to have been supplied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, with the intention of aiding their Houthi allies in the Yemeni civil war.
4. What other weapons were confiscated and claimed for forfeiture?
In addition to the ammunition, other confiscated weapons claimed for forfeiture include assault rifles, machine guns, rocket launchers, and anti-tank guided missiles.
5. How are Western defense ministries supporting Ukraine?
Western defense ministries are actively working to provide support to Ukraine in its defense efforts against Russian aggression. However, concerns have been raised about the diminishing availability of resources for this purpose.